Illinois Senate Considering Requiring Warrants for Drones

Illinois legislators are being asked to strike a balance between privacy concerns, and letting police use technology they say will help them do their jobs.

Amanda Vinicky reports on a plan before the state Senate.

Small, flying objects, hovering over your head.  Equipped with shape recognition software.  Watching, and waiting to follow a specific someone around.

It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie.

BISS: “It sounds almost silly when people first hear about it, but it’s real.  The technology is coming.”

Senator Daniel Biss, a Democrat from Evanston, says Illinois should be ready for them.

Biss is the sponsor of a measure that would require police to obtain a search warrant before they could use a drone.

But Limey Nargelenas, with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, says the plan’s too restrictive.

He says police will want drones for jobs they now do with fixed cameras, squad cars, and helicopters  — without a search warrant.  But he says drones could be more useful:

NARGELENAS: “Like looking for marijuana fields. We can’t get a warrant and say we’re going to fly over the state of Illinois, give us a warrant for the whole state.”

Nargelenas also says drones would be safer and less expensive.

– Amanda Vinicky

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One Response to Illinois Senate Considering Requiring Warrants for Drones

  1. Sam Kephart says:

    Domestic drone usage is ill-conceived, elitist, and end-runs our inherent Constitutional protections.

    Here are two (2), very well-produced, videos that anchor my points:

    Emmy Award-winning newscaster Shad Olson’s ‘The Great Drone Debate’, featuring US Senator John Thune (7:41):

    Here’s a mind-blowing, well-done animated short that really captures our collective angst that if the road to perdition is paved with good intentions, then domestic drones are a superhighway to an Orwellian panoptic gulag (3:22):

    For national security purposes, Americans are already subject to warrantless wiretaps of calls and emails, the warrantless GPS “tagging” of their vehicles, the domestic use of Predators or other spy-in-the-sky drones, and the Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of all our behavior through “data fusion centers.”

    America’s promise has always been the power of the many to rule, instead of the one. Ungoverned drone usage, particularly domestically, gives power to the one. 

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